That moment. Suddenly you are confronted with your design, live and projected onto real people a few feet away from you. Not the badly rendered computer simulation, nor the messy black box of an empty stage with light thrown at it where all you can see is how well black paint takes light; the actual real thing, fully three dimensional, animated, rendered on flesh and blood, moving before you very eyes. Yes, obviously, that was the plan. But the moment it’s suddenly real can be quite emotional. Reality is brutal – the answer to the hard work is instinctive and delivered in a hearbeat, positive or negative.
It took a while this year. I didn’t get that moment looking over the plot; mostly ok. I didn’t get that moment watching from the control room; mostly insulated from the show you can largely see your reflection in the glass with a strong hint of blue working light, and you’re too focussed on checking everything works. But for three minutes I escaped to the circle and watched it out front. Live. Captivating. Spine-tingling, electric. It looked really pretty. The headache of rehearsal, the faff of programming hundreds of cues, the misery of the effects engine, the madness of making 29 things all look different to each other, the still fresh aches and bruises from the rig and focus, the tiredness… all melted away. No matter how briefly you are in the moment it wipes away the cost of the effort and the hard work. It doesn’t matter that I can’t explain to normal human beings why the quality of light and its evolution over time fascinates me; it’s enough I’ve got my theatre fix. Who knows, I might do this again sometime!
It’s also a privilege to work with some incredibly talented people, each of whom is worrying about whatever gives them their “moment”. I know enough to know that what they perform is way beyond my reach, and that what they do is as alien to my skill set as what I do is to theirs. But together we make a show.
It’s probably bedtime; I’ve discovered the flaw in blogs – there’s no time to actually write them while you’re busy doing what you blog about. But I’m watching the video from tonight’s dress. Tomorrow is back to the mundane – rehearsal notes, tweaking, getting ready. Tomorrow we open the show; tonight I relive the moment.